Volunteer Mental Health Professionals Give More Than $7 Million Worth of Free Mental Health Services to Military Community through Give an Hour

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Give an Hour™, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities announces that that its network of over 6,400 licensed mental health professionals has given more than 70,000 hours of free services.

Barbara Van Dahlen,Ph.D.

"The significant increase in hours given indicates that more of those in need are seeking services and accepting help. We are very proud to do our part for those who serve our country – and we are just getting started,” says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen.

Give an Hour™, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities announces that that its network of over 6,400 licensed mental health professionals has given more than 70,000 hours of free services.

At the nationwide average of $100 per hour for mental health counseling, our providers have donated over $7 million since Give an Hour began fulfilling a critical need in July 2007. Give an Hour periodically surveys its providers to obtain this data. This latest figure represents a 275% increase in hours donated over the same six-month period last year.

“We thank all of the compassionate and generous mental health professionals who have joined our network to provide care and support to service members, veterans, their families, and their communities,” says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour. “The work that we are doing with our providers, our mental health partners, and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs is helping to reduce stigma and educate families and communities about the issues and challenges that veterans face. The significant increase in hours given indicates that more of those in need are seeking services and accepting help. We are very proud to do our part for those who serve our country – and we are just getting started,” Dr. Van Dahlen adds.

Give an Hour providers are psychiatrists, substance abuse counselors, psychologists, pastoral counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses, and licensed professional counselors. Thousands of volunteer mental health professionals are available—in all 50 states. They are volunteering free counseling to active duty service members, members of the National Guard and Reserve forces, and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who have separated or retired from any branch of military service. Give an Hour is also offering free services to parents, siblings, unmarried partners, grandparents—in short anyone who loves someone affected by the current conflicts.

By providing services that are separate from the military establishment, Give an Hour offers an essential option for men and women who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate help. There is no paperwork; no insurance claims need to be filed; and no money changes hands. Give an Hour’s services are confidential and absolutely free. There is no limit to the number of sessions one can receive.

Mental health professionals interested in joining Give an Hour can complete an easy online registration form at http://www.giveanhour.org. Visitors in need of services can log on and use the provider search to locate a mental health professional in their area who meets their needs.

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Give an Hour is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that develops national networks of volunteers who are capable and committed to responding to chronic issues within our society. Founded in 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in the Washington, D.C., area, Give an Hour is currently dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of military personnel, their loved ones, and hometown communities affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Give an Hour’s network of volunteers pledge to give one hour of their time each week and now includes more than 6,400 licensed mental health professionals in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. To date, they have donated more than 70,000 hours of free counseling, valued at approximately $7 million. To learn more, visit http://www.giveanhour.org or http://connected.giveanhour.org.

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Lauren Itzkowitz
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